Archives for posts with tag: patons sws

First of all, machine washing and drying Rusted Root worked beautifully! The sleeve puff has more or less vanished, and it sprang a big hole under one arm that I had to fix with yarn unraveled from my gauge swatch, but the fabric tightened and evened up wonderfully and the sweater still fits. Judging from the half-inch of red lint stuck on my lint trap, I think it preemptively removed a lot of potential pilliness/shedding from the fabric as well. I’ll have a bit more info later; I’d like to do some post-washing measurements so I can give teh Intarwebs information about how much Cotlin shrinks in the wash.

Other stuff:

Last Monday, Rahul and our friend Charlie went gathering mushrooms in the woods. They got lost for about 6 hours, but finally came back with a pile of huge morels that we sauteed in plenty of butter and ate for dinner. (We are all still alive, so I’m pretty confident we correctly identified them.) They were really delicious, even if they look kind of scary and greasy in this photo.

Over the weekend, Rahul and I decided to go looking for morels again. It was a fruitless search as far as the mushrooms were concerned, but I did see some beautiful tulip tree blossoms lying in the leaves:

and I found a box turtle:

–both enthralling and exotic temperate-climate treasures for a native Californian! Look at that grumpy turtle face! We don’t really see such things in the wild on the West Coast, though we do have lots of salamanders and live oaks in our forests, which I’m sure would be exotic for a Hoosier born and bred. It was great, though, very spring-green and picturesque. Unfortunately, I got awful allergies and later found a tick in my bed. (Ew!)

That was Saturday. On Sunday, we went out and took some photos for my new pattern, the Windflower Scarf.

The green and brown one is Patons SWS in Natural Earth (I love how it worked out with the self-striping yarn!) and the purple one is Manos Silk Blend in Violets. The pattern is reversible, and very simple and relaxing to knit, mostly garter stitch with a few patterned rows thrown in every now and then. Isn’t the stitch pattern pretty? I might also adapt it into a cowl pattern with a bit of leftover Malabrigo so I can see how it works up in a semisolid yarn.

Next up in my knitting queue: some Malabrigo Lace in Cadmium, a very bright golden-YELLOW!, selected by my best friend as the color she’d like for a shawl to wear at her wedding this summer.

The celadon backdrop is one of Rahul’s paintings (not sure if it’s in progress still or if that’s going to be it, Mark Rothko-style). I have a strict deadline for this shawl, mid-July, so wish me luck–if my original design goes to hell, I’ll probably have to make her a last-minute Swallowtail Shawl or something.

Oh! And before I forget, another “OMG Ravelry is soooo great” story. Friday night, after work, Rahul and I went for a bike ride around town so we could enjoy the glorious spring weather. We stopped by the chemistry building to say hi to chemgrrl, but I didn’t know where exactly her office was, so we were unsuccessful. We rode up to the north side of campus, and I finally saw the beaver who lives in the hedgerow alongside the train tracks; along the way, we passed Nicole, who was out jogging. On the way back down, we passed her again and stopped to talk for a while. It seemed like a good evening to sit outside and have a drink, so we split a half bottle of Sauvignon Blanc at the Runcible Spoon, and spotted Saibh and her husband on their way out of the restaurant. It was a nice evening. I went home and found the Ravelry Friday Night Open Mic #1 thread, in which Ravelry users around the world called up and left messages (transcribed by an automatic transcription service). I was thrilled to hear exotic accents and see the mess the voice recognition system had made of some messages… “I’m addicted to Ravelry!”->”I’m addictive to robbery” was one of my favorites. So I left my own message about how cool it was that I’d randomly run into two different Ravelry friends while we were out and about on a Friday night in Bloomington, and in the same thread, saw a shout-out from hapagirl, yet another Ravelry friend from Bloomington (or Bounington, rather, as the transcription would have it.) I felt like I was in a TV commercial about how Ravelry Brings People Together–running into friends, hearing these little “hello!” messages from all over the world, it was great.

Plus, I had a lovely breakfast this morning at the Uptown Cafe with some of my knitting group (Leigh, Nicole, Kalani, blogless Norma: hi guys!) with only a little bit of knitting involved, but a lot of delicious cottage cheese pancakes. These days, since I work from home and I’m naturally a night owl, there is very little that will induce me to get up at 7 AM. A meeting for work, a plane to catch, or, apparently, pancakes with friends at the Uptown.


Presenting the second rendition of Kureopatora’s Snake. As I mentioned in my last post, I like this much better than the red version I made. Totally 100% more awesome for sure. (Yes, hello, I am from California.)

With the completion of this scarf, I only have 4 more Christmas presents left to make. Or 6, depending on how ambitious I get with gifts for the almost-in-laws. A scarf for my boyfriend, a scarf for my mom (in progress), and I’m thinking maybe a hat for my great-uncle and some felted clogs for my great-aunt. I’m so ready to be done with my Christmas knitting!

Pattern: Kureopatora’s Snake

Yarn used: 2 skeins Patons SWS in 70041 Natural Slate

Needles used: US size 10.5/6.5 mm

Started: 12/10/07

Finished: 12/12/07

Size: Roughly 5″ x 62″ before blocking; roughly 5″ x 67″ after blocking. It stretches quite a bit when worn, so it’s most likely longer and skinnier than that when being worn rather than laid out flat on the floor.

Mods: I made the scarf 26 stitches wide instead of 30 stitches wide, to compensate for the larger needle size, and it came out to a very good size. I just love this pattern. I tried knitting it months ago in Patons SWS in Natural Geranium, kept getting confused and going the wrong way with the entrelac, and frogged it in frustration after just one repeat. I eventually tried again, and was surprised to find that it wasn’t that hard after all, and was in fact a very addictive pattern, unlike a regular, interminable 1×1 rib scarf. I put up more detailed notes about keeping track of the entrelac in my writeup of the previous snake scarf.

Notes: Apparently, I never got over the high school idea that blurry, monochromatic photos = Great Art. In these photos, I’m even wearing a long black dress I bought in high school! (The schlumpy black Ally Sheedy-type cardigan is from Target.) I set out to take some moody, wintry pictures a la Norah Gaughan’s self-titled Norah Gaughan Vol. 1, specifically inspired by the picture of this scarf. Lots of red lipstick and black eyeliner and dozens of totally ridiculous photos later (America’s Next Top Model, I ain’t) I managed to pick out a few photos that I wasn’t completely embarrassed to put up. To my surprise, the scarf came out looking way too warm in color when I converted the pictures to grayscale, so I left the photos in color. If only my skin and my walls were Goth white.

Woe is me, oh, I am so emo.

I thought this one came out kind of neat because my face is blurry but the scarf is not:

Perhaps superior workmanship will make me happy?

I am so tired by the tragedies of my life, I think I need to lean on this wall for a while

I think I just don’t have the kind of cheekbones that lend themselves to great Serious Art photos full of dim light and interesting shadows, and should stick to smiling and taking snapshots of myself like a normal person.

The ones on the balcony of just the scarf came out nicer, I think. Less drama!

Knitting knitting knitting. The media in the rest of my life has been full of knitting lately. I saw a play as part of a series called Sex/Death V the other day that involved someone getting stabbed to death with knitting needles. It reminded me of this Stephen King short story I read where a woman’s drowned husband comes back from the dead and shows up in the living room as a dripping wet zombie, and she stabs him in the eye with her needles.

There’s been a lot of talk about knitwear in the Golden Compass. My favorite from the movie was not the Gyptian garter stitch coat that’s generated so much buzz, but the pointy little imp hat in bulky marled yarn she wore while they were walking towards Bolvangar. It has a rolled brim and a pointed tip. I wish I could find a picture. It looks similar in overall shape to the meathead hat.

I’ve also been reading, and really enjoying, the Fables graphic novels by Bill Willingham. One of the key players in a major battle is a witch who knits. I highly recommend the series to anyone who enjoys graphic novels and/or fairytales.

I saw this link to KnitML on Craftzine and it’s all kinds of amazing in theory, but reading the sample sock pattern made my eyes glaze over. Maybe it just takes getting used to.

Babies first, then snakes!

Pattern: Baby Sweater on Two Needles (February), from Elizabeth Zimmermann‘s Knitter’s Almanac

Yarn used: 2 skeins Nashua Cilantro in Geranium, snagged for $5 a skein from the bargain bin at Uncommon Threads

Needles used: US size 9/5.5 mm

Started: December 5, 2007

Finished: Knitting finished December 8, 2007; ends woven in and snaps attached December 12, 2007

Size: All measurements taken pre-blocking: 8.5″ long from neck to hem, 22″ chest, armholes approx. 7.5″ around, garter yoke approximately 3″ long, yoke worked to length of 5″ before separating sleeves from body

Mods: I ran out of yarn, so I knit the body first, noticed I was running short, and knit only 3 garter ridges before binding off (the pattern calls for 1″ of garter stitch at the border). I bound off the sleeves immediately, rather than knitting sleeves, due to the extreme yarn shortage, so it has cap sleeves rather than long ones–I toyed with the idea of getting another skein of Cilantro mail-order, but decided that this wasn’t going to be worn for warmth anyway, so the short sleeves would be OK.

I also used 4 pearl snaps in the yoke rather than buttons, for fear that the recipient would tear off sewn buttons and eat them. Hopefully the snaps will stay put. They had to be applied with a hammer! I have never hammered a knitted object before, and it was kind of fun.

(When I was going through my button box to find the snaps, I found these sushi buttons I bought from Reprodepot and realized they would have been adorable on this sweater! If only they made sushi snaps.)

Notes: This sweater is so adorable I can’t stand it. I want to make a giant baby sweater (as unappealing as that name sounds) for myself sometime.

Edited because in my hurry to get out of the house to see The Golden Compass (it was OK, but how could they have left out that vital last scene from the book?), I forgot to add my notes about the pattern and the yarn.

The pattern, though pithy, shouldn’t cause anyone any great distress if they understand the basic concept of a top-down sweater. The only puzzling thing was the “pick up 4×7 stitches” instruction. Apparently, this just means to pick up 7 stitches 4 times–14 stitches under each arm.

Stitch markers can be easily employed with the gull stitch pattern, and I recommend it. After knitting across the entire body of the sweater only to find my stitch count was off at the very end of the row, I put in a marker at every repeat and found the going much easier. The only problem was that I used rubber bands, and they have a maddening tendency to get stuck to the needle or cable and slide under the stitches. I clearly need to invest in some more “real” stitch markers.

The yarn, a matte cotton-acrylic blend, was a dream to work with–thick, round, bouncy,  with great stitch definition, and stretchy beyond the point of Rowan Calmer and into bungee cord territory. You can see that the stretchiness exacerbated some tension issues in my garter stitch, but I don’t care–I’d definitely work with it again.

The light these days is not so great, so the red didn’t come out very true in my photos. It’s a bright cheerful red. The last picture is probably the best.

Here is the sweater, fetchingly modeled on my balcony by a bottle of laundry detergent.

My cousin is adopting a one-year-old baby girl from China in the next month or so, so I’m sending the sweater along with the rest of the Christmas presents for the family. Hopefully it will fit the recipient at least as well as it fits the laundry detergent. I don’t know much about babies, but the CYC seems to think it should fit a size 2 baby, whatever that means. She’s small for her age, so I’m hoping she is size 2 or smaller.

Anyway–I have another Kureopatora’s Snake completed! This one will go to my dad for Christmas. I’ll do another photoshoot with the snake scarf modeled before I send it off–just wanted to put up a few pictures in the meantime. As I predicted, fewer colors work best in this pattern. Last time, I used Plymouth Boku in mixed reds and there were just too many colors in it–this time, I used Patons SWS in Natural Slate, and couldn’t be happier with the results. Look at how gorgeous and elegant this is! I totally love it.

Two things that simultaneously amuse and annoy me:

My spam comments appear to mostly consist of apologetic or appreciative Greek car salesmen who have emigrated to China. In the last few hours, Makis, Alexander, Agapios, Loukianos, and Themestoclis have said “Nice…”, “Cool!”, and “Sorry ” and they all come from sites with bizarre accretions of different car names suffixed with .cn.

Michaels‘ marketing tagline is apparently “Imaginate.” Actually, I’m not so much with the amusement on this one. It kind of just makes me want to punch their marketing guy in the gut.

On the plus side, all their yarns are on sale until the 17th. I’ve been jonesing for more self-striping accessory yarns as I deplete my Boku and Noro stash. Here are some stripy patterns I’ve been wanting to make:

– This Butterfly Hat looks great in self-striping yarns (Ravelry link here)

– I’m planning a Clapotis in Rowan Tapestry in Whirlpool, just like Goldtop or Kate’s

– I want to make a two-color brioche scarf with a self-striping yarn as one of the colors. Perhaps the leftover chocolate brown from my hats with the blue/purple/green skein of Plymouth Boku I have left over? (I certainly don’t remember buying that much, but it’s lovely stuff)

– I just made a really nice and addictive Kureopatora’s Scarf with Boku in shades of red. However, I think it would look even more striking in a yarn with fewer colors, such as Patons SWS in Natural Slate.

– One of these days, Lizard Ridge will be mine.

– The latest cover pattern for Yarn Forward was the cute Miss Potter fingerless mitts with a chevron pattern, knit in Rowan Tapestry.

– And I do want to make another Unicorn Pegasus Rainbow scarf for myself, perhaps in slightly less Frankian colors this time.

Have I mentioned before how much I love striped scarves, especially manually striping self-striping yarns?

All scarves have 2-row stripes with the unused color carried up the side. From left to right:

WIP: Earth and Ocean bias stripe scarf. Misti Alpaca Chunky in Peacock Melange and Natural Brown, on size 10.5 needles, garter stitch on the bias.

FO: 1×1 rib striped scarf in Plymouth Boku.

FO: Forest Rib scarf. Plymouth Boku in mistake rib.

FO: Child’s Rainbow Scarf. Patons SWS in Natural Plum and Natural Navy in mistake rib, pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

More photos of these in my Flickr or on my Ravelry pages. Let me know if you want the colorways or other specs on these scarves.

Up above: Two skeins of Noro for yet another striped scarf.

Also, here’s my cute little fork deer. Isn’t he the best?

As you can see, I finally have my camera back, and I’ll have more projects to show you soon!